The Principles of War Podcast

Firepower 13: Artillery planning for the Somme Offensive

Dr Garth Pratten looks at the how the BEF was developing it’s organisation, doctrine and weapons in preparation for the Somme Offensive.

This Somme Artillery podcast looks at the organisation difference between Divisional, Corps and Army Artillery and the issues that each level presented for the planning and execution for the Somme battle.

How was the Mortar evolving for employment in trench warfare and how was it organised?

Artillery Command and Control – was staffing levels an issue with execution and was planning to centralised?

Dr Pratten discusses the new BEF doctrine published in May 1916, “Artillery in the Attack.”  How as the British Army doctrinally approaching the problem of coordinating the support for the infantry attack?

What were the challenges encountered at the Somme?  Flexibility? Destructiveness? infantry-artillery cooperation and the German exploitation of the lifting of the barrage?

Finally, what was the legacy of the Somme for subsequent battles?

Listen to the podcast to understand the answer to all of these questions and more and the Artillery at the Somme.

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